Have you been thinking of knee replacement surgery but worried about the costs involved? It can be difficult to afford surgery in the US, especially for uninsured patients. Perhaps, some close border travel can help. Are you Intrigued?

Thousands of Americans travel to Mexico for treatment each year.[1]Yahoo finance
Medical Tourism Mexico: High Quality, Affordable Prices
“ Around 800,000 to 1 million Americans travel to Mexico each year for medical purposes.”
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Undergoing knee replacement in Tijuana, Mexico, is worth giving a shot, especially if affordability is a key criterion for you.

Knee Replacement. Video Courtesy: Dr. Randale Sechrest

This article covers the treatment costs for TKR (Total Knee Replacement) and PKR (Partial Knee Replacement) in Tijuana, the best hospitals there, and explores why this border city might be the best option for your surgery. Read on to know more.

Cost of Knee Replacement in Tijuana

Did you know that the cost of knee replacement in Tijuana is only 20 – 30% of what it might cost in the US? Surprising as it may sound, this is true.

You can also schedule your surgery conveniently without being bothered by any waiting periods. Tijuana is situated by the US-Mexico Border and is close to San Diego, California.

It is pretty easy to travel (17 miles on the road), and you could save both on time & money.

 Knee Replacement Surgery Comparison (USD) – USA vs. Tijuana, Mexico
Procedure USA Tijuana
Total Knee Replacement $30,000-$50,000 $7,000-$10,500
Knee Arthroscopy $12,550-$22,000 $7,000-$7,500
Partial Knee Replacement (Both knees) $30,000-$46,000 Request Price
Revision Knee Replacement Surgery (Both knees) $40,000-$73,696 Request Price
Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement Surgery $18,500-$20,000 Request Price
*Prices are subject to change. Fill our online quote form for the latest prices and specials.

The package price includes the following:

  • Doctor consultation
  • Pre-operative procedures (if any)
  • Cost of Implants, medications, medical reports
  • Surgical fees, laboratory fees, anesthesia charges & OT fees
  • Travel support from airport to hotel/hospital

When you look at the cost savings, high-end medical infrastructure, and expert surgeons on call, Tijuana in Mexico is the perfect answer for patients traveling from the US and Canada.

This Mexican border town can help you get a cheap yet high-quality knee surgery!

A knee replacement surgery may range from 30,000 – 50,000 USD in the US. Compared to that, it will cost you around 7,000 – 10,500 USD for the same procedure in Tijuana.

Whether it is Total Knee Replacement Surgery (TKR) or Partial Knee Replacement surgery (PKR), you can stay assured of a seamless experience with our medical partners at MTC.

Hospitals in Tijuana, Mexico for Knee Replacement

Hospital del Carmen

Hospital del Carmen | Knee Replacement Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico Located in the Gabilondo neighborhood in Tijuana, the hospital specializes in orthopedic procedures like knee, hip, hand, and back surgery.

Oasis of Hope

Oasis of Hope | Knee Replacement Hospital in Tijuana, Mexico Located in the town of Playas de Tijuana, the hospital has treated over 1 lakh patients from 60 countries over the last 50 years.

How to Reach the Hospital?

The closest American Airport (in San Diego) to the border town is 20 minutes away. It takes about 45 minutes to get from Fifth Avenue in downtown San Diego to the San Ysidro border crossing.

Travel Requirements

  • Americans and Canadians do not require a tourist card or a visa if they stay for less than 72 hours within the border zone (20-30 km/12-19 miles from the US border).
  • To travel beyond the Mexico border zone, Americans must own a tourist card, also called a Tourist Migration Form (FMM), available at entry points.
Note: Mexican immigration requires that visitors have passports valid for at least six months. 

Plane Travel

If you fly from the UK or Canada, you will have to fly to San Diego’s Lindbergh Field in California. It is an hour away from Tijuana. Americans can access non-stop and connecting flights from all over the US.

You can take the 992 bus from the San Diego airports or a cab to get to the border from the San Diego airport.

Car Travel

Take highways I-5 or 805 S to the Mexican border at San Ysidro if you drive to Tijuana from the US.

The drive from downtown San Diego takes about 30 minutes, or you can park your car in San Ysidro and walk the 20 minutes to Avenida Revolución (the main tourist center).

Since traffic is challenging, after parking your vehicle, you can take the San Diego Trolley to the San Ysidro border.

Best Surgeon in Tijuana for Knee Replacement

Dr. Hans Ruiz Serna is a talented orthopedic and trauma surgeon in Tijuana, Mexico. He is an expert in multiple orthopedic surgical procedures such as repairing bone fractures and prostheses in joint wear.

He is a specialist in Orthopedic Medicine at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). With over seven years of experience in the orthopedic field, he has performed around 2,000 surgeries.

Dr. Hans Ruiz Serna | Knee Replacement Surgeon in Tijuana, Mexico Dr. Hans Ruiz Serna


  • Orthopedic Traumatologist, Lomas Verdes Orthopedic & Trauma hospital, Mexico
  • Practiced at IMSS subzone general hospital, Sonora
  • Specialist in traumatology & orthopedics, IMSS Regional General Hospital, Tijuana

Knee Replacement Surgery Option in Tijuana, Mexico

Understanding Your Knee

The knee is a complex joint of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and cartilage. It may be described as a hinge joint, similar to the hinge on a door.

Knee Joint Anatomy
Video Courtesy: AnimatedBiomedical

The knee can be divided into three compartments:

  1. The medial compartment (the inside part)
  2. The lateral compartment (the outside part)
  3. The patello-femoral compartment (front part of the knee)

All these knee components, bones, cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and muscles have to work together properly for the knee to move smoothly.

Any damage or problems to these components (osteoarthritis or ligament damage) may require an orthopedic evaluation.

Dependent on your knee condition and the type of knee replacement surgery needed, your surgeon may choose from the following :

1. Total Knee Replacement Surgery (TKR)

Condition: A Total Knee Replacement is advised by a surgeon when more than two compartments are affected due to knee injury or old age/osteoarthritis.

Duration of Surgery: 2 to 3 hours.

The surgeon removes any affected or damaged cartilage and bone fragments in this surgery.
Artificial joints or surfaces (made of metal or plastic parts) are used as implants.

Post-surgery Recovery: It is important to stay at the hospital post-surgery.

Total Knee Replacement in Tijuana, Mexico

Recovery is usually within 2-3 days, with adequate physical therapy and medical attention based on your condition.

2. Partial Knee Replacement Surgery (PKR)

Condition: Partial knee replacement can be done when damage to the knee is confined to one compartment.

The surgeon removes only the specific damaged part and replaces it with artificial prosthetics.

Duration of Surgery: 1-2 hours.

Post-surgery Recovery: 1-2 days.

Since this surgery is less invasive than TKR, the recovery period is smaller.

Partial Knee Replacement in Tijuana, Mexico

3. Minimally Invasive Knee replacement

Condition: Minimally invasive partial knee replacement is usually done where there is damage to a single compartment.

This surgical technique only causes minimal damage to the muscles and tendons around the knee since special customized surgical tools are used.

Duration of Surgery: About 1-2 hours.

Video Courtesy: OACMorthopedics

Post-surgery Recovery: Hospital stays are shorter (between 1-2 days) as no major operative trauma or blood loss.

4. Revision Replacement

Condition: Sometimes, an existing knee replacement may become faulty or damaged. Somebody who already had a TKR or PKR surgery will experience chronic pain or swelling around the knee joint when this happens.

Duration of Surgery: Since this surgery involves the removal of the existing prosthetics and placing new artificial knee parts, it is a complex procedure. The surgery can last a minimum of 2-3 hours.

Post-surgery Recovery: The post-operative surgery period is long in this case. Sometimes it can take several days for a patient to recover fully.

Recovering Post Surgery

A knee replacement surgery takes time to heal fully (minimum of 1-4 days).[2]AAOS
Activities After Knee Replacement
“Your hospital stay will typically last from 1 to 4 days, depending on the speed of your recovery.”
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Your caregivers at the hospital will help you take the first steps as a part of the post-operative recovery process.

Walking and stretching are simple methods of improving mobility and healing. The patient may experience some pain and swelling, but this will reduce over time.

Walking with crutches after knee replacement Walking with Crutches
Physiotherapy Sessions | TKR Recovery Physiotherapy Sessions

Your surgeon may ask you to consult a physiotherapist. It will help aid your healing faster. Physiotherapy sessions and regular exercising can improve the muscle tone and mobility of the joints.

Plan Your Knee Replacement Surgery in Tijuana

A typical itinerary for someone undergoing Knee Replacement in Tijuana with our surgeons will look like this:

Day 1: Pick up from San Diego. Transportation to Tijuana and perform pre-op testing and consultation procedures. Stay at the hospital and get ready for surgery.

Day 2: Complete the surgery. Post-operative rest is necessary. Choose to use the next couple of days to rest and heal.

Day 3: Recovering at the hospital. Follow stretching exercises to improve mobility. Start walking with a cane or walker.

Day 4: Consult with your surgeon. If your surgeon finds you fit to leave, choose to go home.

Day 5: You can choose to stay at the hospital for additional physical therapy sessions. We can help you look for physiotherapy options other than the hospital. Explore what Tijuana has to offer.

Procedure Surgery Time Hospital Recovery
Total Knee Replacement (TKR) 1-3 hours 3-5 days
Partial Knee Replacement (PKR) 1-2 hours 1-3 days
Revision Knee Replacement 2-3 hours 2-5 days
Minimally Invasive Knee Replacement 1-2 hours 1-3 days

Knee Replacement in Tijuana – Patient’s Feedback

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5.0 Stars (Google Reviews)

“He explained to me very well what my problem was and gave me a good solution; I completely recommend Dr. Hans.”

-Angeles M. Vang

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 5.0 Stars (Google Reviews)

“Very friendly and professional treatment, we will go again to give the proper follow-up to my mother.”

-Marlene Pineda


It might be a good idea to enjoy some sightseeing as you heal from your knee replacement surgery. Medical tourism in Mexico is pretty popular due to Tijuana’s local attractions, food, art, and music.

The Tijuana cultural center is a place to visit if you look for the arts. El Trompo will open your eyes to cultural shows, games, and multiple exhibitions that mesmerize the senses.

For more, please consult with our experts today to know more about our payment programs, procedure details, and travel package plans.


1. Yahoo News: Medical Tourism Mexico: High Quality, Affordable Prices
2. AAOS: Activities After Knee Replacement